Skinn Collagenesis Collection

 

IdealWorldtv will be stating their 17th Birthday celebrations on Wednesday the 29th of March this year and they have all sorts of fun things planned.  From super discounts on various products starting on their birthday to a fun twitter party which will also take place on the day at 7:30pm to 8:30pm on their twitter page (@IdealWorldTV).  One of the items that you will be able to purchase for an amazingly discounted price is a skincare set from Skinn.  The Internationally acclaimed cosmetic brand Skinn use natural ingredients in their products with their focus being on what goes into them as well as how they make us look.  Their company motto is “what counts is inside” and with this in mind they combine classic traditions with the most advanced technology making them stand out from the rest.

The Collagenesis range has been designed for use on various skin types from young to old.  Its aim is to help prevent the early signs of ageing and also treat more mature skin by targeting dry dehydrated skin, thinning of the skin and reducing the crepey and wrinkled appearance that appears as the body slows down the production of elastin and collagen.

The Collagenesis skincare collection is beautifully presented and is comprised of 4 products;

Skinn Collagenesis 24 Hour Cream 50ml

This contains plant peptides which perform a variety of functions from healing, maintaining skin tightness, skin renewal and protein synthesis for a younger looking skin.  The cream does not contain any waxes, parabens, petrochemicals or mineral oil and is designed for both day and night use keeping skin feeling softer, evening out the skin tone and firming the skin.  As our skin ages the cell renewal of the top layer decreases giving it a dryer duller appearance.  The naturally derived Capryloyl Salicylic Acid which features in this cream helps with the skin skin cell renewal and helps to improve the appearance of skin.

This is a lovely cream with a rich, thick texture that doesn’t leave a greasy residue after application and it absorbs into the skin well leaving if feeling fabulous.  You don’t need much as a little goes a long way.  Don’t forget to apply to your neck and decolletage.  This is lovely and has a brightening effect on the skin which seems to become apparent quite quickly within the first week or so of use.  The only amendment to this product I would suggest would be to have it in a pump bottle like the rest of the items in the set.

Stem Rejen Face Serum 30ml

This serum contains 3 key ingredients Glacier Water, Snow Algae Powder and Alpine Rose.  Glacier Water found in the glaciers of the Swiss Alps has been preserved for thousands of years keeping its youthful properties and helping to keep skin looking younger by delivering deep, long-lasting hydration.  Snow Algae Powder helps to keep the skin looking smooth and radiant.  Alpine Rose; a powder based from the stem cells of alpine rose leaves.  This helps to enhance skin’s natural vitality and strengthens the skin’s barrier function enabling it to cope better with climate changes.  With a patented technology, these ingredients are encompassed in a multilamellar encapsulation delivery system which adapts to each users skin type including the most sensitive skin.

This comes in a useful pump bottle making it easy to control the amount of product dispensed.  I love the colour which is a pretty shade of pink and that there are so many great ingredients including some particularly strong antioxidants to help prevent against cell damage.  The serum isn’t too thick or heavy and sinks into the skin nicely.

Stem Rejen Eye Serum 15ml

This serum also contains Glacier Water, Snow Algae Powder and Alpine Rose.  In addition it is also formulated with a the resin of the Indian tree (Guggul) that has natural skin plumping properties to give smoother skin.  With it’s wealth of natural ingredients chosen specifically for their various skin improving properties this appears to be a great product for use on the skin under the eyes helping to add moisture from within and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines..

The eye serum has a slightly thicker consistency than the face serum but it is still very light and again vanishes quickly into the delicate skin under the eye.  You don’t need much and again a little goes a long way.  I found about half a pump was sufficient to use on each application.

Lip Stem Rejen 15ml

Active constituents from sesame seeds are used in this particular formula.  This product has been designed to help reduce the appearance of those dreaded marionette and nasolabial folds that appear as our skin ages.  The aim is for skin to look rejuvenated and to promote a more youthful appearance.  This also includes the three high-performing active ingredients, Glacier Water, Snow Algae Powder and Alpine Rose.

This is an interesting product as you don’t see that many that are actually designed specifically for the lines around the mouth area.  Again you don’t need much as you are not covering a large area so try squeezing out a third to half a pump and you should be covered, excuse the pun!  (I have no control of myself sometimes).  This leaves the skin feeling silky soft with no greasy residue and is fast acting to give a plumper appearance of the skin and reduction in fine lines.

All of these products are best stored in a dark place, a bathroom cupboard will suffice.

Fancy trying these wonderful beauty products?

As part of their birthday celebration IdealWorldtv will be offering these for £39.99 giving you a whooping saving as the normal price is £120 although still a bargain considering the actual products.  So for just £39.99 you can have all 4 items above but that’s not all.  In addition they are also adding in these two extra products for free:

Plus!!!!

Yes, there is more.  How generous are these guys.

As part of the Birthday Special they will feature super-sized versions of all the products giving you even more reason to want to get your hands on them.

This is a great offer and one that I plan to take full advantage of.

Will you be making the most of the amazing savings that IdealWorldtv will be offering whilst celebrating their birthday?

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Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.

 

Ask for Angela #NoMore Campaign

Ladies and gents have you ever been on the date from hell?

I’m not talking about one of those dates where you discover you have been tricked about the appearance of the other person and well you really don’t think it will work and make an excuse and sneak out when they think you’ve popped to the bathroom.

I’m talking about the sort of date where you are actually put in the position where you are worried about your own safety.  The new campaign Ask for Angela which was successfully trialled in South London is being introduced across the capital.  ‘Ask for Angela’ will be available at participating venues and gives customers a phrase they can use if they feel unsafe due to that person’s actions, words or behaviour.  The intention of this is to help reduce sexual violence and vulnerability for those on the dating scene.  This was originally launched by Lincolnshire County Council and was so successful that more venues in the borough have signed up and the initiative is continuously spreading further.

Asking for Angela at a venue that is participating enables you to alert staff that there is a problem.  Police are training staff at venues that sign up to be a part of this.  Staff will then be able to help out discretely either by calling a taxi, contacting friends or family or asking the person causing the distress to leave.  Where necessary the police will be contacted to deal with any problems.

This is part of the #NoMore campaign that aims to encourage a culture change and reduce instances of sexual violence and abuse.

Posters will be in ladies and men’s bathrooms of all venues participating.

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Have you ever been in a situation where you have feared for your safety on a date?

New Laws Relating to Using Your Phone When Driving

I must say that I am really pleased by the new laws that have been introduced as of the 1st of March this year in relation to using phones whilst driving.  So many times I have been driving and see others with a hand held device against their ear clearly completely distracted and risking the safety of all those around them.  It’s a selfish habit that many see to have fallen into and one that should never have been allowed in the first place.  With the roads getting more and more congested the odds of being in a car accident that isn’t your fault are increasing.  Just a few weeks back I witnessed an accident that occurred from careless driving which I mentioned in my blog post What To Do If You Are In An Accident.  Combining the careless driving with an obvious distraction = dangerous driver.  It’s kind of a no brainer really and it’s a shame that stricter laws were not imposed a while back.

When Can You Use Your Phone in the Car?

The only time you are allowed to use your phone in the car is when you need to dial 999 or 112 and it is not safe to stop or if you are parked and the engine is off otherwise it’s a no go.  This also includes texting, looking at messages, updating your social media account, following a map – basically touching the phone is out.

If you want to use your phone as a sat nav it must be is mounted in a hands-free holder.

 Simple enough so why do I see people on their phones on a daily basis.  In the past the punishment didn’t really fit the crime, let’s face it driving whilst using a phone can distract you enough to kill someone it isn’t rocket science.

It is also illegal to use a hand held phone when supervising a learner driver.

In addition police can stop drivers that appear distracted which includes where you may be using a radio or sat nav so please be careful and set the sat nav before you leave!

What Will Happen If You Are Caught Using Your Phone Whilst Driving?

New drivers will lose their licence if they are caught during the first two years they have their licence.  Theory and practical driving tests will need to be retaken.

For those with a full licence the fine is now £200 and 6 points on your licence.

There is also a chance that you may go to court, be banned from driving or get a £1000 fine.

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Have you ever used your phone whilst driving?

Large Easter Eggs for £2. Bargain!

With Easter on it way my children are getting really excited especially if they get to go to the supermarket with me and behold the wonder that is the seasonal Aisle laden with colourful boxes covered in their favourite characters, some containing mugs, others with morning sets and a selection with kids toys and not forgetting lots of chocolate and sweets.  This has got to be most children’s idea of heaven but then we have the flip side where as parents we don’t want to overdo the sugar intake or spend a fortune buying kids Easter eggs.  Off the top of my head I need to buy about 10 eggs although I may have missed a few children to will need to double check that.  Easter eggs don’t need to cost a fortune and the best way to buy is by doing a quick price comparison of supermarket prices before you go so you know which store to aim for.

For those looking a super Easter egg deal then look no further.  Tesco have a super deal where you can buy a Cadbury egg for a mere £2.  Yes you read that correctly £2!!!!!  These eggs can be purchased online or instore.  The egg weights vary from 266g to 307g depending on which of the selection you choose.

Having compared these with Morrisons  and Asda who are selling the same eggs for £4 each or 3 for £10 and Sainsbury’s who are selling them for £3 each Tesco is selling them for a super bargain price so they are worth checking out if you need eggs as gifts and this way you can get far more for your money allowing for a better treat for a mini or big chocolate monster.

The eggs that can be found on this promotion include: Cadbury’s Double Decker, Whispa, Twirl, Cream Egg, Hero’s, Oreo, Marvellous Creations, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Snickers, M&M’s, Kit at Bites, Mars, Teasers and many more.

This offer is valid until the 14th of March so don’t think about it too long as these eggs will be flying off the shelves fast and I should know I bought 10 today!  These are great as you don’t just get the chocolate you get a fab mug too.

Happy Egg hunting!

What to Do If You Are In A Car Accident

Recently I narrowly avoided a car accident.  I was on my way to take the children to school and the road ahead was blocked by cars on either side and oncoming traffic.  The driver in front of me turned onto a drive on the side to let the cars coming in the opposite direction to pass so that we could clear the blockage.  I also moved into the space to allow cars to pass.  The second they had done so the car in front started reversing.  The driver clearly hadn’t looked or couldn’t see from his high up perch as it was a four by four type vehicle and it didn’t look like it was going to stop.  Checking behind me I noticed that there was room to reverse so I did so narrowly avoiding the careless driver infront of me reversing into me.  Another car was coming from the other direction and went through the gap stopping next to me as he was also blocked.  The careless driver then swing the back of his car out into the road hitting the car the that had just passed and again had clearly not checked to see whether anyone was behind him.  Honestly it was ridiculous and also concerning.  Had a parent with a child been trying to rush through a gap between cars, I’ve seen that many a time, one or both of them could have been severely injured or killed.  Luckily in this case no one was hurt and the driver who was hit didn’t seem too aggressive to the careless driver from what I could see from the safety of my locked car with closed windows (I wasn’t taking any chances as you never know with some people).  The driver was clearly driving recklessly and in my opinion had a vehicle way to large for him to handle.

We see it all the time people venturing down the narrowest of roads with the most enormous cars that they haven’t got proper control of and it really is concerning but for today’s post I will concentrate on something super useful especially for those that may not have had an accident in the past

What to Do If You Are In A Car Accident

Some of you that drive may have experienced a car accident and for those those that have yet to do so would you know what to do and do you have the necessary information that you need on hand?  Firstly it is a good idea to have the relevant information handy in case it is required.  For any of you that are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident you will need to do the following:

Try and move to a safe place where possible you don’t want to cause another accident.

Depending on where and how bad the accident is get out of the car.

Check to see if others involved are okay.

Call the police and if required ask or an ambulance too.

Take a photo as this can be used as evidence if required. Most of us use our phones for photos and they come in handy for something like this especially.

Collect information from the other driver(s) involved including their name, contact number, address, vehicle registration number, insurance details and also get details from witnesses as you never know when someone who is at fault will change their mind and story.  Note down the time and location of the accident.  You will need to note down the weather conditions and also the damage as this may also be required.

Report the accident to your insurer asap.  Policies vary and the longer you take the higher the chance that your claim will no longer be valid.

I hope this post has been useful to many of you or it is something you can pass on to friends and loved ones especially new drivers.

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Drive safely!

skinChemists Bee Venom Facial Serum

There are so many beauty products on the market and it can be very overwhelming.  Deciding what to choose can be hard and many of us can be easily influenced by brand names, price and fancy packaging although not all expensive products do what they claim too and many low priced products can be basic and in some cases ineffective.  The use of bee venom in beauty products has become a growing trend.  Yes I am talking about the bee venom secreted by the back end of a bee when it stings you.  Now I know you’re thinking why would anyone in their right mind want to apply products with bee venom to their skin, it is designed to be an irritant causing itching and swelling.  Don’t worry all will be revealed shortly.

The Science Part!

As our skin ages it loses its collagen resulting in the signs of ageing such as sagging skin and wrinkles forming.  By applying a product with bee venom the skin is in a sense tricked into believing it has been stung.  When you are stung the body’s normal response would be to increase the blood circulation to the area in question so application of a product containing bee venom to the face for example (not forgetting the neck and decolletage) will increase the blood flow in that area which will in turn encourage the production of collagen and elastin in the area of application.  The resulting effect is to give the skin a plumper, firmer appearance reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

The company skinChemists sent me some of their best selling Bee Venom Facial Serum for an overview.  This serum is packed with a range of ingredients that are designed to nourish, plump and hydrate the skin and which work together to stimulate the skin to give it a smoother and firmer appearance.

Within this serum the main active ingredients are:

Bee Venom

As mentioned this increases the blood flow and this in turn increases the flow of nutrients to the multiple layers of the skin resulting in a firmer, plumper appearance and the reduction in the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines.

Hyaluronic Acid

Another fabulous product which is great in making lines look reduced.  This acts by increasing the moisture levels in the skin thus plumping it up.  Imagine the skin is a wrinkly deflated balloon.  As the Hyaluronic acid begins to take effect the moisture levels within the skin increase so in effect the balloon would begin to inflate making those wrinkles less and less visible and the skin looking much firmer as it works.

A Blend of Amino Acids

The amino acids have an important role which is to balance the skin improving its clarity and encouraging a brighter complexion.

Animal Friendly

skinChemists do not harm any animals in the making of their products.  The bee venom used in this product is from a sustainable source which applies to the industry standards of technological extraction.

My Findings

The bee venom facial serum felt very light and absorbed well into the skin and left it feeling velvety soft.  The aroma is nice and not overpowering.  There was no adverse effect on the skin or reddening.  The pump bottle the serum comes in allows for easy dispensing and prevents too much product being used.  The design of the packaging is simple, pretty and effective.

SkinChemist products have had rave reviews from all sorts of celebrities and quite honestly I can now safely say I understand why.  I have something truly shocking I wanted to share.  I have only been using this for 3 days.  That’s 1 application at night and one in the morning over the face, neck and decolletage each day and already my skin looks brighter.  I must admit to about 5 rechecks at least as I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I looked in the mirror this morning and thought my eyes were going funny initially maybe due to water loss overnight but then I looked again in another room.  My skin did look brighter.  This really does give me a great feeling about this products ability and I am hoping soon I will notice a reduction in my wrinkles and fine lines too.

The results speak for themselves with celebrities fashion designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Stefano Gabbana and model Jourdan Dunn singing their praises.  Camilla (The Duchess of Cornwall) has also confessed to using this fabulous must have beauty secret after which sales of this serum sky rocketed.  With Mother’s Day coming up this youth elixir in a pump action bottle is something that I know any mum would love to get their hands on so why not get mum something she really wants a more youthful complexion and appearance.

Now for the price.  The RRP of the serum is £135 BUT skinChemists have given me a code for my readers to get this serum for the bargain price of £19.99.

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Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.

 

Gorgeous Pre Loved IWC Watches for Men (Mostly)

Last week I wrote a post about some gorgeous drool worthy handbags from Mulberry; Mulberry Must Haves for February 2017 that I know many of you enjoyed.  This week I thought I would continue with the luxury theme but this time I wanted to feature some gorgeous high end pre-owned designer watches.  I discovered that you can get some gorgeous second hand designer watches a few years back when I went on a day trip to Brighton with my parents as I was appearing in a cookery competition which was to be aired later in the year.  After I finished filming we had time go wander around Brighton and off course go shopping.  Whilst there we visited a jewellers who also had watches many of which were designer and a fair number were second hand.  Yes!!!! Second hand watches is apparently a thing and since then my parents have purchased a few.  Of course Brighton is a pretty long way to travel to get hold of a second hand watch so onto the internet I went and that was where I discovered a company called Xupes.  Now this site really does have a fabulous range of wrist candy that you will adore.  These types of watches retain their value so they are more than just a watch / gift, they are also an investment.  The second hand IWC watches on the site caught my eye.  There are some lovely watches to choose from and although there are watches for men and women I thought this week I would write a men’s second hand luxury watch wishlist although I have featured a few unisex watches.

Just a little background about the brand IWC.  It was created in East Switzerland in 1868 by American engineer and watchmaker Florentine Aristo.  The brand promoted itself as a high end engineers watch and has always been one of the brands leading the market in watch design.  Second hand watches from Xupes are inspected inhouse by master watchmakers to ensure that they serviced and polished where necessary.  The watches come with a 12 month warranty.  A strict history and authenticity check comes as standard for each watch.

There are numerous IWC watches available and here are some of my favourites.

 Watch 1 

Vintage Watch Cal.89 18K Yellow Gold Unisex 1949

I couldn’t resist squeezing in a few unisex watches this being one of them.  The numbering is clear and simple and the watch has a sophisticated look to it.  This watch shows that gold is still a great colour when used correctly in a piece like this.  This super stylish watch will never go out of fashion and would look great on both men and women.  The black leather strap means this will look great with work and evening wear.

Watch 2

Vintage 18K Yellow Gold Gents 853 1961

This lovely gents watch looks great with the gold dial and baton markers in place of numbers.  It is a stunning piece that helps finish off an outfit for a formal event.  This watch exudes class and sophistication and is truly a stunning piece and any man would love to wear.  The crocodile print strap adds to the great design of this watch making it an extremely desirable piece.

Watch 3

Portofino Stainless Steel Unisex IW356507 2014

I love the face of this pretty unisex watch with the silver numerals and hands.  The black alligator leather strap finishes of the piece perfectly making this a great watch for work and day wear.  The design is a classic meaning you would get many years use as it would always look smart and elegant.

 Watch 4

Vintage Cal. 89 18K Rose Gold Gents 1952

Rose gold really is in fashion right now so this watch is a fabulous piece to wear out and about.  The appearance of this watch makes it look masculine even with the rose gold.  The dark leather strap is the perfect colour contrast and the makes this piece one that can be worn with just about anything.

Watch 5

GST Pertpetual Calendar Stainless Steel Gent’s IW375607 2000’s

This stainless steel classic looking men’s watch looks great and is just the thing for day and evening use.  The style is one that will always be in fashion and is one that others try to copy although not as well.  This great masculine looking watch is one of those that will appeal to many due to the colour and good design.

Watch 6

Portuguese 18K Rose Gold Gents IW390405 2016

I love the combination of the rose gold on the watch with the black alligator leather they do look great together.  This has a great masculine style that again looks great with most types of dress whether it is formal or casual.  The dial is clearly set out and looks stylish and the sort of design that will appeal to a range of ages.

I hope you liked my choices.

Which watch is your favourite?

QP LDN (Mayfair) Restaurant Review

We all love Italian food, hell it’s one of the most popular foods around.  Italian food doesn’t merely consist of pizza and pasta, there is far more of a variety in Italian cooking than some restaurants would have you believe with the limited selections they have on offer.  Don’t get me wrong I love pizza and I love pasta and have written recipes such as my Fig, Mozzarella, Balsamic onion,  Parma ham and Rocket Pizza and my Lobster and King Prawn Pasta and of course enjoyed many meals out consisting of these types of foods but many restaurants seem to offer the same thing.

There are so many gorgeous meals that you can try and where better than at a good quality Italian restaurant located in Mayfair.  The QP LDN restaurant nestled in the heart of London offers patrons a taste of the Amalfi coast without them needing to leave the country.  Perfect for foodies such as myself this restaurant offers diners a choice of menus including their A La Carte, Express Lunch and Early Evening menus.  The lunch and evening menus change regularly making it one of those places you will want to visit often to sample the various delights they have to offer.

On arrival we were greeted warmly and shown to our table.  The seating is very comfy and there is also a bar area with seating where food can also be ordered from the bar menu.  The atmosphere was relaxed and the decor sophisticated.  I loved the addition of the palms and the dimmed lights added to the atmosphere.

The restaurant is far larger than I initially thought when I first arrived.  It was only once I had finished my meal that I decided to have a little nosey around and I discovered a whole second section to the room I was in.

There is even a bar downstairs which is very popular on certain evenings and looks great.  I hope to visit it sometime with friends.

I was booked in for the QP X Early Evening Meal by their lovely PR lady.  At £32 per person this is a bargain for what you get as it won’t leave you hungry.  Just like other Mediterranean’s, Italians are not only very hospitable they also enjoy their food and believe that guests should not leave until they are full.  Anyone who has been to mine for a meal will know this is very true.

Below is the menu we chose from on the evening of our visit which was prepared by Michelin starred chef Antonio Mellino.  He has 2 Michelin stars to be precise and is famed for his freshly made pasta.  He uses finest seasonal ingredients in his meals which are shipped daily from Italy.

EARLY EVENING MENU

Upon arrival, a glass of Champagne will be served along with some Panzerotti and Pizzette

STARTER WITH A CHOICE OF

PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE Q.P.

Aubergine Parmigiana Q.P.

OR

CALAMARO RIPIENO DI PROVOLA E FRIARIELLI CON CREMA DI PATATE

Squid Stuffed with Provola Cheese, Broccoli and Cream of Potato

OR

ZUPPA DI ZUCCA, RISO CROCCANTE, PANE AL PEPERONCINO

Pumpkin Soup Served with Crispy Rice, Bread and Chilli

MAIN COURSE WITH A CHOICE OF

PASTA MISTA CON FAGIOLI BORLOTTI E PECORINO

Pasta Served with Borlotti Beans and Pecorino Cheese

OR

OSSOBUCO, PUREA DI PATATE, ARANCIA E LIMONE

Ossobuco with Mashed Potatoes, Lemone and Orange Sauce

OR

SALMONE SCOTTATO CON SCRAROLA E ACCIUGHE

Seared Salmon Served with Scarola and Anchovy Dressing

DESSERT WITH A CHOICE OF

PROFITEROL AL CIOCOLATO

Chocolate Profiterol

OR

MILLEFOGLIE DI AMARENE E CREMA CHANTILLY

Millefoglie with Black Cherry and Chantilly Cream

OR

SELEZIONE DI FORMAGGI ITALIANI

Selection of Italian Cheese

OR

TAGLIATA DI FRUTTA

Fruit Selection

GELATO AL PISTACCHIO (supplement di £10.00 per persona)

Pistachio ice cream (supplement of £10.00 per person)

Mark was our server for the evening and I must say he did a fabulous job.  He was able to advise us as to which dishes were popular with others and also which he liked and would strongly recommend.  Of course I observed him to see his interaction with others and he was very good.  There was no favouritism towards anyone (meaning us as we were reviewing), all were spoken to in the same manner with the same professionalism, he did an exceptional job.  I loved that he knew our glasses needed filling before we had even noticed and he would appear all of a sudden to make sure we were topped up.  His level of service was equivalent to that that I had received during my afternoon tea at Harrods from the lovely Loretta.  If I opened a restaurant I’d want both of them in it!

The menu we were booked to enjoy included a glass of champagne on arrival but the staff there kindly let us swap this for a bottle of sparkling water.  With our drink was served a selection of breads including wholemeal bread, foccacia, white bread with quinoa and potato, crisp Italian flat bread, grissini with polenta.  Just to note this was not on the set menu but an extra.

These were delicious and we were given a plate with fabulous quality olive oil and a blob of what must have been a balsamic vinegar reduction as it was nice and thick and packed full of flavour.  Still on the olive oil I must say I have not been served one as good as this in a restaurant before and I know good oil as we have freshly olive oil sent to us from Cyprus.  You can tell the good from the bad by the colour and the richness in flavour and if you do get to try this at QP LDN you will love it I assure you.  The breads were all lovely and we were pleased that there was a selection with a range of flavours and textures making it that quite exciting.  My favourite was the crisp Italian flat bread with it’s moreish saltiness.

Next up we are back to the menu.  We were served a panzerotti (stuffed with ricotta) and pizzette (like a pizza) each.  These were served warm and the moment I bit into each I was in heaven.  The bread was gorgeous.  It was soft and light with plenty of flavour of its own.  Within the panzerotti was a deliciously divine ricotta filling that was mouthwatering.  It was extremely smooth and creamy and fabulous!  The pizzette was also delicious and was topped with tomato, cheese and some fresh basil.  Again perfection.  What can I say these were fabulous examples of Italian cooking at it’s best and we hadn’t even gotten to the starters.

The Starters

These were beautifully presented with a variety of colours making them a feast for the eyes as well as our stomachs.

Stuffed Squid

This sure was a winning dish packed full of flavour with tender squid, perfectly cooked greens and a great contrast in texture from the beetroot crisps.  This was lovely and a dish you won’t want to share.  The potato cream worked well with the dish adding moisture and additional flavour but at the same time but not overpowering the flavour of the other ingredients.
Aubergine Parmigiana

A great interpretation of the dish this was not only rich in flavour but it wasn’t as oily as the dish baked version found in many restaurants.  The light fluffy cheese sauce on the side was lovely and was almost like eating a flavourful cloud.  The portion of this and the other starter was quite substantial and at this stage I was not sure if I would be able to finish the whole meal.

Having enjoyed everything so far we looked forward to tucking into the main dishes.

The Mains

Ossobuco with Mashed Potatoes, Lemone and Orange Sauce

Wow, this was a big portion and I was relieved that it was my friends dish as I knew the second it arrived I would never have managed to eat the whole thing.  The meat was tender, it literally melted in the mouth and was rich in flavour.  The meat fell of the bone instantly and combined with the sauce and mash made for a very tasty and hearty meal.

Pasta Served with Borlotti Beans and Pecorino Cheese

Simple yet tasty I had to try this to see how good the pasta really was and to say I was impressed was an understatement.  The dish combined a mix of perfectly formed pasta shapes which were Al dente (firm to the bite) with cheese and beans and had a fair amount of flavour.  The sauce was nice and creamy as you can see from the photo and this dish was nice and tasty.

With the meal we also had one side dish suggested by Mark – the fried zucchini and what can I say other than I was thankful he was there that day.  These were delicious, crispy and nicely salted giving them that additional favour and making them rather moreish.

By this stage we were pretty full.  But of course we were not going to skip dessert it’s the best part of the meal as my friend and I both have a sweet tooth.  Unable to decide what to have we were rescued by the lovely Mark who helped make the decision for us suggesting the Millefoglie and the pistachio ice cream.

Pistachio Ice Cream

This was placed on a serving table next to ours prior to presentation.  Anyone that likes pistachio ice cream will be in their element as this was truly magnificent.  The ice cream is akin to some authentic Italian ice cream I tried in Las Vegas years ago and I can honestly say we hadn’t been as quiet all evening as we were at that moment.  We wanted to fully savour the moment and enjoy the velvety soft and smooth ice cream as it gently melted in our mouths revealing small chunks of pistachio.

Note the colour of the ice cream indicating that this has been made with natural products and that colouring has not been added.  Honestly if I can make pistachio ice cream as good as this I know my friends would be over everyday.  I have yet to experiment with this having barely survived half term with all our tutors and out of school clubs.  The ice cream was so good we were not sure whether the Millefoglie could measure up to this but sure enough it was just as fantastic a dessert.

Millefoglie with Black Cherry and Chantilly Cream

This is the Italian version of the French pastry Mille-feuille meaning 1000 leaves / layers.  The pastry itself has a delicate flavour but is lovely and crispy.  The Chantilly cream and cherry combination works perfectly and this should not be over looked as a dessert nor should it be left in the shadow of the ice cream.  These are both desserts that I would highly recommend for their different textures and flavours which really do excited the taste buds and each is a heavenly dessert in its own right.

This really is a gem of a restaurant that serves gorgeous, great quality meals that are a cut above many others.   I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with your local pizzeria but for those looking for something a bit more authentic in relation to Italian food this is the place to try.  The quality of their dishes surpass most and the service is just as good.  This really has to be one of the best Italian restaurants in London and I am looking forward to visiting and trying more of their delicious meals with friends soon.

If you do go make sure you take a look at this work of art.  It’s a chair consisting of aluminium tubes dipped in gold and worth a staggering half a million pounds!  The chap sitting on the chair was lovely and just like me is a hugger so of course I got a big hug on my way out.

This is a great restaurant and they have got everything spot on.  If I was to make any suggestions then I would maybe add another dish or two to the options available in the main dish selection on the menu we had but other than that these guys have it all covered.

If you do pay them a visit make sure that you bring your appetite!

Have you tried any Italian dishes other than pizza or pasta?

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Glossy Lip Liner (Ruimio)

I know I haven’t written many beauty posts recently and it’s one of the things I plan to feature a bit more this year, well we all love great new products or at least ones that are new to us and that work well.  I have been doing a little shopping and wanted to share the news of some lovely new products that I was fortunate enough to come across.  Today I wanted to feature some lip liner pencils that I recently discovered and thought would be of interest.  These are lip liners are by a brand called Ruimio.  These guys appear to do a whole range of different cosmetics and I am hoping to try a few different products eventually.

The Ingredients

Elaeis guineensis, Elaeis guineensis (palm) oil, hydrogenated coconut, Copernicia cerifera (carnauba wax), bees wax, tocopherol lanolin, petrolatum and zinc stearate.

Not too bad as some products go although anyone with allergies to lanolin should probably avoid these.

The Product

The pack of lip liners features 12 different colours ranging from a gorgeous nude brown which is my favourite to pretty pinks, purple and an orange.

In the box aside from the pencils you will also find a small leaflet which includes the ingredients, written instructions and diagrams on how to use the product.  The range of colours is great as it has enough to suit all and also to allow for a bit of colour mixing and experimentation.  Each lip liner has it’s colour at the end on the pencil so that it can be clearly seen without needing to remove the lid.  There are no colour names or numbers.  The pencils are decorated nicely although I would probably remove some of the writing as the design would look better simplified in my opinion.  The pencils themselves are simple to use.  There is no need to press excessively for the colour to show, a simple soft touch trace around the lips will suffice.  The lip liner can also be used as a lipstick if you fill in the lip with colour.  These pencils can also be used as eyeliners although I have yet to use them in this way.

The Results

The instructions said to hold the tip of the pencil between your fingers to warm it to soften it a little and make it easier to use.  I found even with applying the product directly it was easy to use and it seemed to be softened by direct contact with the lips anyway.

On application the pencil nib did not break apart but stayed firm but soft.  The lip pencil had a silky soft texture.

The lip liners are well pigmented so it doesn’t take long to get a good coverage.

The colour didn’t take long at all to dry which was great so no matter how many double checks I did it didn’t come off on my fingers.  I will admit to have checked it about 5 or 6 times to check and no colour came off!!!!

The colour stays in place and doesn’t seep into any creases around the lips (not that I have many!)

When filling the lips with these colours – using them as a lipstick, they looked great as they were and with a light lip gloss application.

My lips didn’t seem very glossy when the lip liner was applied but then my lips were very dry and I had applied the lip liner to the whole lip so a touch of lip balm / face cream helped add moisture and made my lips look great.

The colour lasted for a fair amount of time and it didn’t really need much reapplication after food and drink although that depends on what you eat.  The instructions say that this is waterproof so I tested this by licking my lips and noticed when I did touch my lips some colour did come off on my fingers but on the whole this did seem to preform quite well.  After about 7 hours with no touch ups the inner lip had lost colour and really was in need of another application but the outer parts of the lips were still as coloured as they were when I had applied the colour.  I would suggest checking after meals and every 3 or so hours just in case although I doubt many touch ups would be required.   Considering the price of these products they do seem to be good value for money.  The price varies from £8.99 to £13.90.

For any of you that fancy getting some of these I found them on both ebay and Amazon, but Amazon has them on special offer.

Have you tried any Ruimio products before?

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Lalaloopsy Potty Surprise (includes a FAB competition)

A little while back we introduced you all to Lalaloopsy.  Lalaloopsy have a range of fun, brightly coloured toys for little ones and one of them that you may have seen advertised on children’s tv recently is Lalaloopsy Potty Surprise.  Now of course the second my girls saw this they wanted to have one, who wouldn’t it’s a doll that poops!!!!!!  I’m really excited about this particular toy because it has arrived at around the time that the mini man is more conscious about trying to go to the toilet and this has coincided with him actually using the toilet.  I think that seeing the doll and his sisters go to the toilet and not wearing nappies has really spurred him to wanting to be a big boy and using the toilet.  My little man has started stripping and running bare bottomed to the toilet although he can’t quite get on it without help just yet.  It’s hilarious, he has totally perfected the stripping part it takes him seconds and before you know it you have a toddler running starkers around the house, it’s pretty hilarious I must say!  Not so much when we have an accident on the floor though but we will work through that.  Anyway back to Lalaloopsy.  As you can see this doll is cute with her large dark button eyes and my girls love her.Lala1

 In the box you get the doll, 3 different coloured foods, a bowl, a spoon and a potty.  And of course importantly it’s super easy to use.

Using the spoon to portion out some food.

There are various shapes and the kids loved discovering new ones in the potty.

Both my girls and Mr Squishy love playing with this and the great thing is that no matter how many times they have left the lid open the food which is like kinetic sand does not seem to dry out, good to know as we all know what children are like.  The food pot lids and the potty are all nicely decorated which I liked and this is one of those super toys that you don’t need to get batteries for making it a great gift as that’s one less expense and thing to remember, bonus!  A lot of thought that has gone into this toys presentation which is great.  When we were first playing with this I did notice when the doll wasn’t used properly the poop didn’t form a shape so be sure to follow our instructions above or via our YouTube video:

How much fun is that!

Now like all parents, grandparents, loving aunts and uncles we want to get our hands on these great toys but also where possible want to save ourselves a few pounds in the process.  With that in mind I did a quick price comparison and found the doll being sold by numerous shops for over £30 except for one!!!!  I am pleased to tell you I have found probably the bargain of the month for those needing to by something like this as a gift.  I found Lalaloopsy Potty Surprise was being sold for just £14.99 in Argos stores so if you want one hurry and get ordering online as once the deal sites get wind of it this they will sell out!!!!  You heard it here first lol.

 I am going to add some more good news to that.  We have a super duper competition for one of my lovely readers to win a Lalaloopsy Potty Surprise Doll!!!!!

Isn’t that fabulous!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

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Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!